Hamilton, Gilbertson named sportspersons of the year


Lillian Glackin

Madison College women’s basketball coach Lois Heeren introduces her team during the annual athletic banquet on April 24.

Lillian Glackin, Staff Writer

The 54th annual Athletic Banquet was held on April 24. With all eight WolfPack teams represented, the Madison College Catering Staff provided dining services for all athletes, coaches, those in athletics, and family members.

The Recognition and Rewards Ceremony applauded many thriving student athletes, past and present.  Madison College first had 54 current WolfPack student-athletes recognized for having a 3.00 or better grade point average throughout their season.

Madison College Sportspeople of the Year went to Caitlyn Gilbertson of WolfPack women’s basketball and Matt Hamilton of WolfPack baseball.

After being a two time academic all-conference honoree, Gilbertson earned the athletic departments highest academic honor, the Top Female Scholar Award. She will graduate in May with an accounting degree with more knowledge than most in business. She was apart of \the Business Professionals of America Club the past two years and gets the honor of representing Madison college in California in May at  the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, CA.  Her hard work and determination at Madison College will leave her with endless possibilities after she graduates.

Gilbertson started in 42 out of the 46 games of the previous two seasons.  Although she was not a statistical leader in any categories, her consistent presence as a leader on the court is a big reason for her winning Sportsperson of the Year.  Also the team captain, she was the textbook example of a student-athlete leading by example through her hard work and persistence.

“Caitlyn Gilbertson exemplifies everything we strive our student-athletes to be in our women’s basketball program,” commented head coach Lois Heeren.  “She is a champion in sport, life, and academics.”

Also earning academic all-conference and Sportsperson of the Year honors was Hamilton.  A transfer from Illinois State University last year, Hamilton has made huge strides since being at Madison College.  He has been named second team all-region and helped earned the win in Madison College’s first game of the World Series. As of now, Hamilton is 8-0 with a 1.91 ERA and 60 total strikeouts over 47 innings pitched.

“Matt Hamilton is a dedicated, hard-working student-athlete, who is the leader of our pitching staff,” praised head coach Mike Davenport.  “Matt provides maturity, stability, and superior work ethic for not only our pitching staff but the entire team.”

For the 2019 NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame Inductees, 2010-11 WolfPack Baseball player Tanner Vavra and the 2014 Women’s volleyball team were chosen.

In his two years at Madison College, Vavra was part of 89 wins and left the program ranking fourth in all-time batting average (.415), fifth in runs scored (102), 11th in hits (119), and 13th in stolen bases (30). He had a historic run at Madison college, and went on to Division 1 baseball at Valparaiso University in Indiana.

The 2014 Women’s volleyball team holds the most recent national title won by Madison College and is special because of the players that made up the team. They held a 30-3 record, with a 9-1 North Central Community College Conference Championship.

The 2019 Madison College Hall of Fame inductee was Dana Wagner. Wagner scored 582 points for the WolfPack women’s basketball team from 2007 to 2009 and averaged 17.6 points per game as a freshman. She lead the team her second year to finish National Championship runners-up. She earned all-state, conference and region honors during her successful career. Wagner attended the 54th Annual Banquet with an inspiring speech for all student athletes at Madison College.

Thanks to the athletic department’s hard working staff, the 54th annual Athletic Banquet was celebrated in a graceful way of recognizing everyone who helps Madison College Athletics run smoothly and well. The teams were represented as tasteful student athletes who are putting all they can to succeed in both sports and academics.